Nivi · March 3rd, 2010
For intros to advisors and co-founders, I always tell people to sign up for [Startup Digest] — a weekly curated list of the best events in 27 cities — and start going to lots of events.
Good things happen to you at events
I don’t go to a lot of events anymore because I “wouldn’t be here working.” But I went to a lot of events when I moved to Silicon Valley 5 years ago. And great things happened to me at these events. I met Mike Arrington and ended up crashing at his place for a few months when I had no place to stay and very little money. I was re-introduced to David Cowan and ended up working with him as an EIR at Bessemer.
Going to an event can create its own luck. From the archive of the blogger formerly known as pmarca (a.k.a. Marc Andreessen):
“In Chance II, something else has been added — motion.
“Years ago, when I was rushing around in the laboratory [conducting medical research], someone admonished me by asking, “Why all the busyness? One must distinguish between motion and progress”.
“Yes, at some point this distinction must be made. But it cannot always be made first. And it is not always made consciously. True, waste motion should be avoided. But, if the researcher did not move until he was certain of progress he would accomplish very little…
“A certain [basic] level of action “stirs up the pot”, brings in random ideas that will collide and stick together in fresh combinations, lets chance operate.
Events are the place to meet people who won’t meet with you
People who aren’t available over email or one-on-one go to events to make themselves available. Mark Suster writes,
“One area where I have made in-roads is in the “I’d like to buy you a coffee for 15 minutes and get some career advice” emails from people I don’t know. I really do like to help people so in the early days I took some of these. I simply can’t fit in the time any more. So I often advise these people to find me at a conference and I promise to spend time with them there. I’ve already allocated that time as “general networking time.” I’ve developed a system for the polite “no” in this context.”
Sure, we would all like to get a 30-minute phone call with Mark, but I think you form a deeper psychological bond if you can talk to him for 10 minutes in person.
So if you’re looking for intros to advisors and co-founders, sign up for [Startup Digest], start going to events, and create some luck.